Mick Jagger and Keith Richards pick their favourite songs by The Beatles

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In the early 1960s, The Beatles quickly rose to become not just a popular band but cultural icons. Their rise was so meteoric that it gave birth to ‘Beatlemania’, a wave of fandom comparable to religious zealotry. As influential as they were, they weren’t without competition. The Rolling Stones, though initially in the shadows of The Beatles, carved out their own monumental space in pop culture.

The Beatles, in the spirit of camaraderie, lent a hand to The Stones in their nascent stages, with the latter recording a song penned by Lennon-McCartney, “I Wanna Be Your Man.” But it wasn’t long before The Rolling Stones began making waves. The powerhouse team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards emerged as a formidable songwriting pair.

By 1965, The Rolling Stones had made their mark globally, with their hit single “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” topping charts in the UK and US. But even with their growing success, The Beatles were an unstoppable force throughout the 60s, setting the gold standard in music.

There was an underlying tension between the two groups. The Stones, despite their massive popularity, were often seen as the runners-up to The Beatles. Jagger, reflecting on their early years during The Beatles’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, said they had “a lot of rivalry” but remained amicable.

The respect The Stones had for The Beatles was undeniable. Particularly, Jagger and Richards were quite taken by The Beatles’ music. In a documentary, Jagger recalled the time when The Beatles released “Love Me Do,” noting how it inspired them to pivot from their blues roots to more pop-oriented sounds. Richards, on the other hand, would constantly play Beatles songs, much to Jagger’s chagrin. Richards’ fascination wasn’t just fandom; he wanted to capture the pop essence that The Beatles had mastered.

During an induction speech, Jagger recollected their early days, emphasizing how “Love Me Do” shifted their perspective. They felt unique with their Chuck Berry covers and blues numbers until The Beatles, a group from Liverpool with a similar vibe, got a record contract and started climbing the charts. The success of “Love Me Do” was a wake-up call for them.

While Jagger holds “Love Me Do” close, Richards has a soft spot for “Please Please Me,” another Beatles classic. He once shared his admiration for the track with McCartney, particularly loving its chimes.

In essence, while The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had their differences and rivalries, the mutual respect and influence they had on each other shaped the course of music history.

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